Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Then, now and forever

On this occasion, let me first wish you a happy Kannada Rajyothsava.

Secondly, let me share a little story that happened a little over a year ago in my work town.

It so happens that Bangalore (where I work) is one of the most wonderful cities on earth. Everyone is welcome here. It doesn't matter who you are, where you are from, who you been banging, Bangalore welcomes you with open arms and takes you in like one of its own.

This I was happy about. Mixing with people and all that shit. Anyway, so here I am, at work, I have just finished my 3 month training and was the first person in my group to be brought to a high security floor in the building, because the manager supposedly saw a "spark" in my eyes.

However, they made sure that the "spark" died down as quickly as it had sparked in me, by seating me in the farthest part of the huge floor, away from anyone in my project.

Again, at the time, it didn't look like an issue to me at all since I make friends with anyone who breaths (and sometimes not even that). All said and done, all the people around me were strangers and not a single person among them spoke Kannada. Some were speaking in Telugu, some in Bengali. I never even heard any hindi or Urdu. I could have managed that. They all did make a poor attempt at 'speak-a-in-a-English'.

Meanwhile. my kannada speaking group, it still beats me why I use the word 'my' to this day, had banished me from their kingdom and had made a pact among themselves that I would not be called to lunch. Or at least it looked like that, cause everyday it was the same old story.

"Where were you? We were waiting for you at lunch!"

"Oh 'Haha' I thought you had my number, but never mind, I made friends with that gentleman over there and lunched with him. Nice chap he is."

This went on for a week and that weekend I didn't return home.

Second week started. Same old shit. Heady cocktail of Bongoli, Telugu, Damil, Malayalam, Oriya and what not. The problem also was that these people did not want to speak to a person who was not from his state, or did not speak his language. Socializing was getting harder and harder.

I was coming to the end of the second week. It was probably a Thursday, when I was moving up the stairs to the cafe for some coffee, when I suddenly heard music to my ears, two people, speak to each other in....*drum rolls* .... Kannadaaaaaa.

Come on every body in Robin Scherbatsky style:

Thank you everybody, now lets go to the mall.

I was completely tranquillized and mesmerised by the beautiful sounds they were uttering. It was like, I was listening to music, or like I was remembering something enchanting, like a hypnotic mantra I had heard in my previous life.

I was heading up, they were heading down. Completely unaware of myself, I slowly turned around and started following them with zombie-like drooping shoulders. I'm not sure if I had started drooling. Eyes half open like as if I was high on coke, I just followed them, listening to every little detail of the sound that had to be made to utter each and every Kannada word. Pure heaven. I followed them until we reached ground floor. Thats when I suddenly came to my senses. Took me a moment to realise that I had come to the ground floor and had no idea why I was there and where I really should have been.

Yes, I am not kidding. You will realise that I have not over sold it here if you go through my situation. That is how beautiful Kannada is. And though I always appreciated the beauty of the language, I only realised my own attachment to it on that fateful day. Funny I should write this whole saga in English? How will the others read this and agree/disagree with me then?

For a blog completely written in Kannada, head over to Mithun's blog "You will never walk alone :  Global Meltdown". I can't promise you its awesome, cause I was not able to read it yet, but I can tell you he is awesome.

Coming back, I don't like to use the words "Proud to be a Kannadiga". Because its total bullshit. There is no point in being proud because its not an achievement, you didn't work hard and become one.

However I like to use the words "Lucky to be a Kannadiga".

ಅಂದು, ಇಂದು, ಎಂದೆಂದಿಗೂ - ನಾನು ಕನ್ನಡಿಗ!


  1. Same feelings for Marathi..:) I agree-one can love his language or motherland but while offering no offense for others...

  2. In your previous workspace they didnt speak-a-in-a-english ?

  3. Advertising ????

    :P :P ...
    Devr ellarnu channag ittirli ... :P ...

  4. Nice Blog Mohan. You don't really have to do that ;) I would have put it up on the blogroll anyway.

    I have now! Keep writing :)

  5. Superb..I lice in chennai for last 2 yrs...whenever i hear someone talkin kannada in office,I turn and look at them.Its like Lullaby to your ears.Even when am travelling in buses in bangalore and hear Kannada I pinch myself and makesure that i am in Karnataka...

    Long Live Kannada and Karnataka

  6. I understand your pain buddy.. :D

    Time to come home!!